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Travel Tips For Wyoming History: 7 Places to Visit For History Buffs on Vacation

By    |   Tuesday, 20 January 2015 04:54 PM

Wyoming has plenty to offer history buffs, particularly those interested in the Old West. Here are travel tips on seven sites worth checking out:

1. The Buffalo Bill Center in Cody

The city of Cody was founded in 1896 by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, then a living legend known for his touring Wild West show, according to WyomingTourism.org. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution located in Cody, offers five different museums for one fee and draws nearly 200,000 visitors a year. The center is known for its amazing artifacts that help tell the story of the American West.

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2. Cheyenne Frontier Days

Since 1897, Cheyenne has celebrated its Old West roots during the last full week of July with its annual Cheyenne Frontier Days festival, according to CDFRodeo.com. The celebration’s centerpiece is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, the site said. It indicated Frontier Days also features a Native American village, an old frontier town, a saloon, square dancing, a chuck wagon cookoff, pancake breakfasts and an art show — all with a frontier theme.

3. Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne

Cheyenne is also the site of Wyoming’s capitol, where the Wyoming Governor’s Portrait Gallery helps illustrate the state’s political history. It indicated Wyoming was dubbed “The Equality State” after it became the first state to give women the right to vote in 1869 then became the first state to have a female governor in 1925. Visitors to the capitol may take a tour and learn about its copper dome, historic murals, and stained glass ceilings.

4. Fort Laramie

Visitors may tour 22 historic structures at the Fort Laramie National Historic Site, which was a stop along the Oregon Trail. It said the fort is one of the stops in the educational “Oregon Trail” video game series. Fort Laramie was established as a private fur trading fort in 1834 and evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains before it was abandoned in 1890, according to National Park Service.

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5. Devils Tower

Devils Tower National Monument, near Hulett, rises 867 feet from its base and is recognizable to millions for the role it played in the 1977 movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Devils Tower was declared the nation’s first national monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Parachuting daredevil George Hopkins landed atop the tower during a 1941 publicity stunt with no way down, as his plans to descend by rope were foiled when the rope fell out of reach, said WyomingTourism.org. Since this happened before BASE jumping was invented, Hopkins remained atop the tower six days before expert climbers scaled the tower and brought him down before an audience of 7,000.

6. Independence Rock

Known as the Register of the Desert and located 50 miles southwest of Casper, Independence Rock was a key landmark for pioneers crossing the frontier. Hundreds of names and images have been carved into or painted upon the stone. It said the rock was named by William Sublette in 1830 in honor of the birthdate of the United States. Arrival at the location by July 4 assured wagon trains they would make it through the mountains to the west by winter.

7. Museum of the Mountain Man

The Museum of the Mountain Man, in Pinedale, displays artifacts related to the fur trading that was prevalent in Wyoming in the mid-1800s, according to WyomingTourism.org. The website suggests attending the Green River Rendezvous, a renaissance fair for the Davey Crockett set held each July in Pinedale. The Rendezvous began as a fur traders swap meet during the 1830s and has continued to this day.

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Wyoming has plenty to offer history buffs, particularly those interested in the Old West. Here are travel tips on seven sites worth checking out.
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Tuesday, 20 January 2015 04:54 PM
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